Who doesn’t love extra, passive income, but in an effort to get it, landlords can be creative. Here are some good pointers on keeping your rental legal. To increase the profit potential of an investment property, some single-family rental landlords may convert an unused basement, attic, or in-law suite into a separate apartment. Making a separate legal rent-able space is more complex then just walling off a separate entrance. It is important to know the zoning codes and laws in regards to apartment and keep your legal rental.
Basement apartments are popular in some areas due to the shortage of affordable apartment homes. However, to be considered legal rental, a basement apartment must meet certain criteria including a minimum number of windows and exits, a minimum ceiling height, and possibly its own utility meters. The same thing goes for an in-law suite, which requires the proper zoning and permits to rent out – this includes family members. Considerations are advised like parking, recycling, garbage removal for all the residence, and others.
Laws and ordinances are put in place for reasons, lawmakers have done the thinking and considerations for you so if you rent out an illegal rental, then there are financial and lawful penances. If you’re caught renting out a non legal rental, there are a number of possible penalties you could face. This entail you evicting the resident from the illegal space which has fees of it’s own, not to mention paying a large fine. You may even be ordered to pay for your resident’s relocation expenses and any other damage they may claim in the process. Your financial losses could be considerably more than your gains.
Other considerations in renting out a non legal rental are combining utilities with the main house. Residents may not monitor their utility use if they never see a bill, which will cause you to spend more money, especially considering heating costs in the cold winters in Coeur d’Alene. The seemingly simplicity of including a flat amount for utilities in the rent, however when something does go awry, you will be bound with little legal recourse. If the issue is ever taken to court you, as a landlord, will not be award and have full responsibility to any damage claims or to dismiss claims from litigious renters, if your rental property is illegal to begin with.
If you are not sure whether the apartment is a legal rental– or what to do about it if it isn’t – Real Property Management can help. We are housed with property management professionals with a plethora of valuable information that secure the success and legitimacy of your rental. We can help you to work with both the local zoning board and your residents to make sure that your property is legal and that it is set in place for the greatest financial return.